Longtime reader gives perennial grievence between naps

You force the music section to write out all 400 pages of Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga by hand, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.

Dear Payback Time: Listen, “dudes”, I’ve been reading the Georgia Straight since all of you were in diapers, and it’s time I let you know what’s what. Thankfully, I don’t have to buy any more toilet paper this week, because there’s a solid eight pages waiting to be put to good use. I can’t make it through a single article without falling asleep, let alone ALL FOUR. God save us from another milquetoast concert recap. Who’s the hip intern you let write the sassy photo captions? They need more airtime. Where are the tales of rock-star gluttony and depravity? What happened to the days of getting inside the artist’s head? Is it scary in there? We don’t need Jersey Shore drama, but give us something.

Here’s a golden quote from last week’s feature on We Are the City: “By the time [David] Menzel re-entered the fold, several years had passed, and the trio found itself reassessing the material it had been working on before he left.” A reassessment! Wow!

> Betty Bronson

John Lucas replies—Dearest Betty: Jesus H. Christ, you must be old as fuck! But it’s kippy to see that you’ve hepped yourself to the crazy jive lingo of today’s grooviest cats, dropping words like dudes into the convo like it ain’t no thang. Anyhow, in deference to your advanced age, I’ll try to TYPE REALLY LOUD so you understand what I’m saying.

I guess it’s my turn to tell you what’s what. Those sassy captions you so admire were penned by the same person who wrote the feature on We Are the City. Namely, me. DID I JUST BLOW YOUR ANCIENT MIND?

I’m sorry that the clean-living, Okanagan-raised boys of We Are the City didn’t provide you with the disco-era depravity you were salivating for, and that drummer Andy Huculiak doesn’t embody all the dissipated-rock-star stereotypes you hold so dear. I interviewed him via telephone, so I suppose there’s a slim chance that he was receiving a blowjob from a Lethbridge trailer-park hooker, shooting smack, and watching Japanese squid porn on a stolen iPad while he was talking to me, but I’m fairly certain this wasn’t the case.

I don’t know how far inside Huculiak’s head you would have liked me to crawl, Betty. However, if your cataract-afflicted eyes had made it to the end of the article, you would have read the part about how WATC’s songs stem from the trio’s probing conversations about the big questions in life, and you might have noticed that the drummer admitted that he doesn’t have all the answers. That seems pretty honest and self-reflective to me, although I admit that it might have made for more salacious reading if he had tearfully confessed that he was a chronic masturbator who couldn’t get through the day without washing down fistfuls of Zoloft with a bottle of Everclear.

On the other hand, Betty, some people peruse the articles in the music section because they actually want to read about music. I GUESS YOU’RE NOT ONE OF THEM.





Jul 10, 2013 at 2:46pm

I love how these guys can trash any given record (film, play, gallery, etc.) without a second thought, but one little e-mail from a devoted reader, and they're hiding behind jokes about being old and peeing their big boy pants. You are not, and should not be excepted from the rules of criticism.

John Lucas

Jul 10, 2013 at 2:52pm

Hey FanBoy, I'm not actually offended by Betty's email. It's all part of a little game we play around here called Payback Time. There are prizes involved and no hard feelings all around. Plus, she started it.


Jul 12, 2013 at 5:49pm

So this is online? Well then, everyone ought to know these chumps cut the last few lines of my letter, and they were the best ones. Censorship lives!

Martin Dunphy

Jul 12, 2013 at 6:01pm

I did not, personally, see your letter. However, if it contained language or information that contravened our publication guidelines or exposed the <em>Straight</em> to legal action, it would not be published in either print or online.
And that is not censorship, at least not in the manner you are implying. Sorry if they were your best lines.
And "chumps"? I haven't heard that since the last time I watched the <em>Three Stooges</em>.

John Lucas

Jul 16, 2013 at 3:55pm

It wasn't about censorship, it was about the amount of space available in the print edition, and also about making a more entertaining, concise read. I didn't have any particular response to your final lines, which were "Who approves these? Mike Usinger? Give me his address and I'll buy my neighbour's kid a dozen eggs." That was followed by the postscript: "I remember when music was at the back of the Straight. It nestled up to Red Meat and it earned its keep. Gone are the days."

If you want my responses, then yes, Mike Usinger is the editor of the music section, and I don't have any say over what goes where in the paper. I didn't think any of that would be particularly interesting to anyone, but there you have it.